You are no doubt familiar with the “biblical losses” that a Cubs organization has had, and which depend on the game’s revenue from fans at Wrigley Field for 70% of the revenue. If you are among those who are tired of hearing about such things, you can consider today’s update as a metaphorical vaccine.
Doubtful, though the owner’s claims may be, to cut more than 100 jobs and trim baseball salaries, certainly suggested that the Cubs were intent on limiting spending in the wake of a shortened season without fans and with uncertainty about the 2021 campaign. However, when the outlook for the fan rally began to look more positive, Tom Ricketts approved an increase in the baseball budget which allowed Jed Hoyer a little more respite. Hoyer recently hinted that it would be even more space to add players if Wrigley got to receive spectators.
On Monday, the official message came that the Cubs could do it operate with 20% capacity, around 8,200 fans, starting with the opening day on April 1. The team acknowledged in its official announcement that it would have opportunities to increase the number during the season with approval from the city and state, an opportunity that seems very likely given the increasing vaccination rate and plummeting positivity and hospitalization.
Cubs business president Crane Kenney told 670 The Score’s Mully and Haugh that he expects steady growth in attendance that could see Wrigley packed by the end of the season.
“We see a way early, with early success of 20% to move to 30%, and preferably once this year, we would like to be 100% in the ballpark,” Kenney said. “The goal is absolute when we play in October, we see a full ball park.
“As the numbers continue to come down, hopefully, and the availability of the vaccine increases, we think the percentage attendance continues to ride with them.”
Even hovering with the 20% would be enough for the Cubs to break, or so Kenney said. It’s an incredibly tough requirement to swallow at face value, especially in light of what the team has said at this point, but he almost certainly talked about the cost of running the ballpark on a daily basis and not the threshold for running the entire organization. . As he put it, it still seems as if something over 30% can mean more money for player acquisitions.
“The lifeblood of our business is to have people in the building,” Kenney said. “It’s not just ticket sales and concessions, parking and premiums. There is also income from business partnerships. No question, having people in the ballpark will help us this year.
“When we scale up from 20%, you will see that some revenue comes in. It can be used for players and other things. ”
There’s a lot at stake in what Kenney says here, or really what he does not say, but there is simply no way they can cover the total operating costs of under $ 70 million. That’s about what they would get in if we count 8,300 fans who spend $ 100 each over 81 home games. While I think there is good reason to be skeptical about the size of the Cubs’ losses – and those from 29 other MLB teams – in 2020, it also makes sense that they need much more than 20% to make meaningful moves this season .
At this point, both greater attendance and adding to the deadline seem like different possibilities, although the former is far more likely than the latter. It is also the idea that better economic prospects mean expand current players. What we know for sure is that fans will be allowed to Wrigley, and that the number will almost increase in number somewhat quickly as the population reaches higher levels of herd immunity, for lack of better designation.
So even if it’s just a result of refilling the hole in recent years, maybe these wheelbarrows with money will eventually be dumped into the budget.